The National Institute of Young Deaf People (INJS), in collaboration with Marcel Paris and Publicis, has released the ‘DEAF’ album: a totally silent, streamable Spotify record that finances a project designed to give deaf people the gift of music.
With the help of 27-year-old sound engineer Damien Quintard, who is also the founder of The Mono Company and Sound X and has a background in sound science and physics, INJS has been conducting research on the ways in which deaf people can pick up sound frequencies through vibration.
“Ultimately, the goal is to prepare the rooms to welcome any person with a disability, to make music as inclusive as possible,” Quintard said.
As it stands in France, nine out of 10 deaf children have access to hearing implements that aid in hearing voices but are not strong enough to pick up music. Through this research, however, Quintard and INJS found that a vibration system would have to potential to let deaf people hear music; the goal is for these to be installed in concert halls in the future.
Because of the expense that this project would incur, the organization released seven “empty tracks, full of meaning” on the ‘DEAF’ album on Spotify. The idea is to, as the titles of the tracks spell out: “Play this album. Play it over and over again. That’s it. You’ve already made a donation to enable young deaf people to hear live music for the first time – more info on INJS-PARIS.FR.”
Each time the album – which is free – streams, the revenue generated is donated directly to INJS in support of further research in the field, and so listeners are encouraged to play ‘DEAF’ on a loop.